SDK documentation missing from SDK

Participant ,
Sep 18, 2017

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I've download and installed the SDK. 

Where is the documentation for the SDK? 

I'm looking for latest documentation regarding IAC.

where's the iac_api_reference.pdf? 

where's the iac_developer_guild.pdf?

any other pdfs? 

What kind of crap sdk is this? 

Adobe should be ashamed for even allowing this crap SDK to be downloaded from it's website. 

CLEAN UP THE SDK and make it useful.

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Karl Heinz Kremer | Adobe Community Professional

When you open the file "AcrobatSDK_readme.htm" in the ZIP archive you've downloaded, you will find a link to the documentation. The documentation is also available as a separate download from the Acrobat SDK web page. You can access both the direct download link, the links to download the SDK and the online version of the documentation from here: Acrobat DC SDK Documentation

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SDK documentation missing from SDK

Participant ,
Sep 18, 2017

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I've download and installed the SDK. 

Where is the documentation for the SDK? 

I'm looking for latest documentation regarding IAC.

where's the iac_api_reference.pdf? 

where's the iac_developer_guild.pdf?

any other pdfs? 

What kind of crap sdk is this? 

Adobe should be ashamed for even allowing this crap SDK to be downloaded from it's website. 

CLEAN UP THE SDK and make it useful.

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Karl Heinz Kremer | Adobe Community Professional

When you open the file "AcrobatSDK_readme.htm" in the ZIP archive you've downloaded, you will find a link to the documentation. The documentation is also available as a separate download from the Acrobat SDK web page. You can access both the direct download link, the links to download the SDK and the online version of the documentation from here: Acrobat DC SDK Documentation

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Sep 18, 2017 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 18, 2017

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When you open the file "AcrobatSDK_readme.htm" in the ZIP archive you've downloaded, you will find a link to the documentation. The documentation is also available as a separate download from the Acrobat SDK web page. You can access both the direct download link, the links to download the SDK and the online version of the documentation from here: Acrobat DC SDK Documentation

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Sep 18, 2017 0
Participant ,
Sep 18, 2017

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Karl, thank you for the info.

Here's what's in "AcrobatSDK_readme.htm"... the link to all the documentation.

Ok, clicked on that link, here are the choices:

What is Acrobat Distiller API?  It's nice that everything refers to it, but doesn't exactly say what it is.

The introduction doesn't define it either (see below)

The documentation is using undefined terminology.  Who is the content manager at Adobe? 

So the DC SDK documentation talk about Distiller API's.  Since Adobe doesn't tell us what the hell Distiller is, we have to use a quick google search for it.  Google reports: "Adobe Acrobat Distiller is a computer program for converting documents from PostScript format to Adobe PDF (Portable Document Format), the native format of the Adobe Acrobat family of products. It was first shipped as a component of Acrobat in 1993."

It says, distiller is for converting documents from PostScript to bla, bla, bla.  We DON'T NEED TO CONVERT. 

FULL STOP, WASTE OF TIME.

We ask again, where is the API documentation? 

Oh wait, we have to magically know we need IAC for this...

Getting the picture?  Confusing crap.  We are not at all impressed with Adobe.

Clicking on the links for IAC, finally gets us to something useful for Acrobat DC, but what about legacy documentation?  What about upgrading legacy apps to DC?  We're not starting from scratch you know...  more *dead ends*. 

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Sep 18, 2017 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 18, 2017

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You need to be familiar with Adobe Acrobat in order to use the Acrobat API, if you know Acrobat, you know that Distiller is part of the Acrobat installation (both Standard and Pro).

Have you tried the "Getting Started" section on the web page you captured above? In the "Overview" section is a chapter titled "Deciding which Acrobat SDK Technology to use" - I would start there.

All throughout the API documentation, you will find information about when a certain feature was introduced. It also lists deprecated or removed functionality.

Don't expect to be fluent in the Acrobat SDK after a few hours, or a few days - just like any complex SDK, it takes a long time to get familiar with it. The same is true for pretty much any SDK I've ever worked with.

I have worked with the Acrobat SDK for more than 20 years, and my experience is  that everything you need (with very few exceptions when it comes to more complex areas of working with Acrobat) is there.

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Sep 18, 2017 0
Explorer ,
Sep 18, 2017

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Karl,

I have been using the SDK since version 1. I thought I would go through the process as a new user and I have to say that it was not faultless procedure even for someone who may be familiar with Acrobat. Forgetting the online docs for a second and downloading the docs via the 3rd of the first 3 links. The download worked and I got a set of PDF files and a zip file. The PDF files are mainly self explanatory if you are familiar with Acrobat and PDF technologies already. There is no instruction for what to do with the zip file, although I did extract it - unfortunately in extracting there are lot of errors about path names being too long and you then have to chose to skip those file or abandon the extraction.

The HTML documentation for the SDK is strange in the way it is formatted in that some of the bookmarks just simply point to a title page with the title of the bookmark just repeated and nothing else. Unfortunately, I noticed that the link "Guide to SDK Samples" is  not actually a link.

Because the documentation is now a separate download links like this no longer have any guarantee of working:

file:///C:/Users/mpete/Desktop/Acrobat%20DC%20SDK/Version%201/Acrobat_DC_SDK_Documentation/AcrobatSDK_HTMLHelp/Acro12_MasterBook/IAC_API_FormsIntro/API_References/Acrobat_API_Reference/index.html

The IAC is really starting to look very old and unmaintained. Are people seriously still going to be using Visual Basic rather than using something more modern such as C# and interop.

The continuous reference to OLE and OLE 2 is taking me back into the 1990s. I think everyone would be using COM for describing this technology now.

There are references to the "Interapplication Communication API Reference", but where is it? I presume its contents are all now in the HTML docs - I remember that is was a PDF file once.

Once I got into the Acrobat and PDF library reference so much of the content is broken links (or maybe some files that failed to extract because of path length). I still use docs from the Acrobat SDK for version 6 which still had much of this documentation as PDF (or from the PDF Library). If you go into the Acrobat SDK References you will find that those links across the top (Samples, Defines, Typdefs etc etc etc ) are all broken. I have been telling Adobe about these issues for years, but it falls on deaf ears and then when the next SDK comes out there they are again.

Michael

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Sep 18, 2017 0
Participant ,
Sep 18, 2017

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Karl thank you for your input.  I agree that it takes time to learn an entire SDK... however,

I too have decades of professional software experience and it's been my experience with SDK's that the basic "hello world" examples work right out of the box and take only minutes to comprehend. 

We've been working at getting Adobe's equivalent of "hello world" to work, for weeks. I've never in my decades of experience seen such a crappy SDK, ever (well... there maybe a few others...). 

IAC is horribly documented.  Here are a couple of basic examples trying to get IAC working:

Example Hello World #1 (what product must be installed to avoid this error, be specific and include a url to product):

Type typeAcroApp = System.Type.GetTypeFromProgID("AcroExch.App");

Type typeAcroDoc = System.Type.GetTypeFromProgID("AcroExch.AVDoc");

if ((typeAcroApp == null) || (typeAcroDoc == null))

          MessageBox.Show("Error: Acrobat is not installed on this system. What Adobe product must be install?  who knows.");

Example Hello World #2 (using our existing Acrobat Approval 5 product).  Why is this cast failing? How can it be fixed?:

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Sep 18, 2017 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 18, 2017

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I have no idea what API Acrobat Approval supported. I would recommend that

you experiment and get your feet wet with a fully supported version of

Acrobat (e.g. Acrobat DC Pro or Standard). You cannot use the free Adobe

Reader with most of the SDK -there is only a small portion of the IAC API

that will work (mainly to display PDF files in your own application).

Take a look here for a simple "Hello World" type application that uses IAC

and VBA:

http://khkonsulting.com/2009/03/adobe-acrobat-and-vba-an-introduction/

Once you have this working, you can then try more complex stuff.

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Sep 18, 2017 0
Participant ,
Sep 19, 2017

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We are trying to answer 2 fundamental questions:

Do our customers need to buy something from Adobe?

What Adobe products need to be installed on their computers?

Here's an overview of our process:

Our customers use a custom WinForms app, to launch a pdf in separate Adobe Acrobat Window.  They fill out the form and click "save" or "cancel".   If they click save, the Winforms app gathers the pdf control values, that the customer filled out and databases those values.  The next time the customer views that pdf, the pdf controls are pre-populated with the saved values.

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Sep 19, 2017 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 19, 2017

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To extract forms data from a PDF form, you will have to use either Adobe Acrobat Standard or Adobe Acrobat Pro. The free Adobe Reader has a very limited API and it is for embedding a PDF viewer in your own application.

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Sep 19, 2017 0
Participant ,
Sep 19, 2017

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Karl,  Thank you for your help.

After re-reading your response, I think you may have already answered my question.

The answer to my question, is that our customers will have to purchase Acrobat DC Standard or Pro in order for our software to keep working on their computers (since they currently have Acrobat 5). 

Now I know why we are still using Acrobat 5 all these long years; it's because our customers won't use our product if they have to purchase additional Adobe crap.  It's my opinion, that Adobe should combine Reader-Standard-Pro into one free open source product.

That probably sounds radical right?  But, the last time Adobe did this, when they made the .pdf open source, they helped to revolutionize our digital lives.  We purchased Acrobat DC Pro and it's total crap, so making it free open source, could only improve it.   After all, Microsoft releases it's Visual Studio and related Express products free of charge and the software it creates are also free of charge.

Wouldn't it really suck if you used Visual Studio to compile a program and then your customers had to purchase something else from Microsoft to make your software work?  Because that's what Adobe is doing right now.

BTW, thank you for the example.  It's simply amazing that you (non-Adobe person) are 1000x times more helpful than Adobe is.  I'm also amazed that anyone would spend money on Adobe with such poor, all around, quality (I'm only talking about pdf related stuff). 

We don't have anymore hope that Adobe will change anything, so we will most likely go another direction, which is anything *other than* Adobe.   

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Sep 19, 2017 0
Participant ,
Sep 19, 2017

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Would you have any recommendations on other API's for doing basic pdf eform stuff?

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Sep 19, 2017 0
Adobe Employee ,
Sep 19, 2017

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You seem to be confusing concepts and terminology.

Open Source refers to a type of licensed used for software, such as Linux or OpenOffice. Not all open source is free and not everything free is open source.

Open Standards refer to documents/formats that come from international standards bodies (eg. ISO or W3C). PDF is an open standard.

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Sep 19, 2017 0
Explorer ,
Dec 11, 2017

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The link to the zip with the documentation is broken and has been for some time now. Is there any chance that this will be fixed? The online documentation is rather annoying and, I suspect, not complete.

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Dec 11, 2017 0
Explorer ,
Dec 11, 2017

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The link to the documentation (https://wwwimages2.adobe.com/content/dam/Adobe/en/devnet/acrobat/downloads/Acrobat_DC_SDK_Documentat... ) is broken. Is there any timeline on when it will become available?

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Dec 11, 2017 0
Adobe Employee ,
Dec 11, 2017

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No idea where you got that link, but you should start at the main page here - http://www.adobe.com/devnet/acrobat.html - and follow the link to the SDK. Doing that, it works just fine.

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Dec 11, 2017 0
Explorer ,
Dec 11, 2017

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I got it from the front page where I got the SDK from. Also, the link to the documentation that your link leads to (http://wwwimages.adobe.com/www.adobe.com/content/dam/acom/en/devnet/acrobat/downloads/Acrobat_DC_SDK... ) is also broken. Note that the only difference is that this one links to wwwimages.adobe.com, instead of wwwimages2.adobe.com.

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Dec 11, 2017 0
Explorer ,
Dec 11, 2017

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My first attempt to get the documentation was from Acrobat DC SDK Documentation

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Dec 11, 2017 0
Adobe Employee ,
Dec 11, 2017

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I tried it from that page for both Mac and Windows and it downloaded here just fine…

Are you just clicking on the link in the page or trying to download it outside the browser? You have to use the links in the browser as that says you are agreeing to the EULA.

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Dec 11, 2017 0
Explorer ,
Dec 11, 2017

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It works fine from here now too. And, yes I did use the right links from a browser. I tried both Firefox, Chrome and Safari from on a Windows machine and a mac.

Anyways, the stuff is back up again so I'm happy.

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Dec 11, 2017 0